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201 San Marcos Springs Drive
San Marcos, TX 78666
(512) 245-7570

aquarena.txstate.edu

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About Us

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We are changing our name but not what we do!  We will continue to offer affordable family fun, escape and discovery, 7 days a week through out the year

The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University-San Marcos

Headquartered at Spring Lake Hall (formerly the Aquarena Hotel), the Meadows Center overlooks the San Marcos Springs and Spring Lake, the headwaters of the crystal clear San Marcos River, which winds its way through the university campus.   The Center is dedicated to studying, preserving and interpreting the remarkable aquatic system that surrounds it as it extends that attention and concern to freshwater systems across the state, the nation and the world. Given that the Texas State University campus is only 30 miles southwest of the State Capitol building, this location also affords the Center considerable access to the many policymakers concerned with finding solutions to real-world water issues.

Aquarena Center: The Heritage and Restoration of a Unique Aquatic Resource


In 2004 the area historically known as  Aquarena, was placed under the direction of the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University-San Marcos.  The area  surrounding the center, where the San Marcos Springs emerge from the Edwards Aquifer to fill Spring Lake and form the San Marcos River, is a portal into Texas history, geography and ecology. Archaeological research indicates that the area surrounding the springs has been inhabited for some 12,000 years.  
Historic Glass-bottom Boat
tours allow visitors of all ages to view the unique ecosystem found in and around Spring Lake.

Diverse Ecosystem

The heart of the site is Spring Lake, which runs clear above the approximately 200 springs that lie below and provides a stable environment for eight federally listed endangered or threatened species: the San Marcos salamander, the Texas blind salamander, the fountain darter, the San Marcos Gambusia, the Comal Springs riffle beetle, Comal Springs dyopid beetle, Peck's cave amphipod, and the threatened San Marcos salamander.